2019 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir
Only fruit, from the oldest parcels of vines at Ata Rangi makes it into this wine. The fabled Abel clone, allegedly smuggled from Burgundy in the mid-70s, makes up 40% of the blend. Incorporates 35% whole bunch fruit with maturation taking place in French oak (35% new) for a period of 11 months.
Deep dark red colour with black shaded edges and a vibrant red to dark red hue. Alluring scents of violets, red to dark cherries, strawberries, red plum and anise sail out of the glass with fresh herb, light forest floor and spicy cedar notes ensuing. Rich and intense in its flavour yet light, tense and focused, the palate sees an expansive wave of delicious red to dark cherry, strawberry and plum fruits fan across it like a peacocks tail. Notions of crushed rock, forest floor, infusions of fresh herbs and spicy cedar lie underneath. Still youthful and tightly coiled, lively fresh acidity and a well integrated yet muscular tannin structure form the framework.
Superb power and depth yet simultaneously showing great restraint, this will slowly evolve over the years into what should be one of Ata Rangi’s best Pinots yet.
Cellar 10-12 years.
A complex wine from the outset with gently reductive notes and modern oak spice threading into fresh cherry, spiced bread, rose, forest wood and blood orange, as well as darker cherry notes. The palate tells the full story. This displays real power and definition with clear-cut and powerful tannins. The intensity of the red-cherry fruit is impressive and the way it occupies the finish with length and uplift is the thing that defines great pinot noir per se. Strong vintage. Drink over the next decade.
Ata Rangi's 2019 Pinot Noir is the whole package. It has a piercing, focused nose, offering clarity of fruit and the backing support of lightly spiced French oak. Reminiscent of fresh yet sweet cherry fruit and woody herbs on the palate, it also reveals a savory tobacco and game note that's oh-so-Martinborough. The wine sits comfortably in your mouth, like a ball being gently cupped. It delivers excellent concentration, and the fine, powdery tannins coat the palate, leaving you licking the inside of your mouth and experiencing the texture of river stones. The finish is long, fresh and fragrant. Drink 2023-2036.
Rebecca Gibb MW – Vinous
The 2019 vintage was a great year for New Zealand Pinot Noir, and this is a knockout. Here, whole-bunch fruit gives a strawberry liquorice approachability but there is an elegant structural frame to support its development. Aromas of red cherry and incense linger through a concentrated yet ethereal palate of grenadine, rosehip and tart plums, enlivened by deft oaking, mouthwatering juiciness and supple tannins. Drinking Window 2022 – 2030.